The past and future of laundry
Carl Tashian

I enjoyed this article, it turns a light on the small hidden places that are overlooked and ignored too often, where all kinds of unnamed and unknown women have toiled because they had no chance to do otherwise.

But I write as a European. Part of this article will induce snorts of laughter in the world outside the US. I was told years ago that many middle class areas of the US banned washing lines! I thought I knew the US well, I travelled there frequently, i worked there, I had, and have, many American friends. But they banned washing lines because other people’s clothes on a line were somehow obscene? In John McEnroe’s catch phrase “you cannot be serious”. This small fact exposes the gulf that divides the US and the rest of the world, and helps me understand the otherwise inexplicable, like gun crime and Donald Trump.

I live in London, have done all my life, in flats, small rooms, and later in a small house. I have a family, we have never owned a drier, we have never seen the need for one. Even if there is no outside space we have always dried on lines or on indoor drying racks.

Good luck with your right to dry, it is a revolution that is worth fighting for. I look forward with pleasure to seeing protest communal drying lines in US city parks, lines strung from the roof of the Capitol, along the front railings of the White House, at the Supreme Court, and, who knows, in every back yard across the US.

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